Whatever it may be called—arbor, colonnade, conservatory, deck, loggia, pergola or pool house—the outdoor structure is a significant component of today’s modern American garden. Outdoor structures can be used as transitions between one part of the garden and another, or they may connect the house to the yard. In the articles that follow, you’ll discover how a simple curving wall can contain a luxurious outdoor retreat that’s used throughout the year. You’ll be intrigued by waterfalls and pools sculpted from a steeply sloping backyard. Talented designers, of course, are key: Their vision can turn the simplest landscape into a practical yet exceedingly stylish haven.
This landscape plan is a very unusual one. The backyard is short and shallow, completely unsuitable for the large entertaining area with swimming pool that the homeowners desired. Pool designer Carrie Luttrell of NVBlu Inc. says the solution was to link a rear patio to the side yard, which was just big enough for an expanded patio and a negative-edge pool suitable both for adults and active children. However, because the yard slopes up toward the street, Luttrell explains, instead of having a negative edge on the far end of the pool that disappears in the distance, the negative edge on this pool serves as a small waterfall that is viewed from the patio entertaining area.
A hydrotherapy spa at one end accommodates eight adults, and it, too, has a waterfall that appears to cascade from the pool into the spa below it. “We wanted to mimic the same negative-edge effect,” says Luttrell. While Luttrell was responsible for the entire design, the patio was installed by Statz Stone and Structure, which also worked with the homeowners on the striking plantings that surround the area and complement the landscape in the distance.
Washington, DC-based Jane Berger is a landscape designer and publisher of GardenDesign Online.com.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION: Carrie Luttrell, NVBlu Inc., Chantilly, Virginia.
PATIO INSTALLATION & LANDSCAPING: Statz Stone and Structure, Sterling, Virginia. PHOTOGRAPHY: Morgan Riehl, MAR Photography, St. Kilda, Australia.